America has a crisis right now around opportunity for young people. The American Dream -- that belief that through hard work and perseverance you can build a better life -- is in peril for a generation.
The 114th Congress has an opportunity to fundamentally shift American life. To do so, though, they must overcome cynical calculations that have become too common when it comes to young people and politics.
Policymakers, business, labor and community can come together to make CTE a thriving component of our 21st-century education system -- and with it, an engine that helps more young people have access to good jobs and the American dream.
While encouraging more students to pursue a technical degree may seem attractive for the short term, the long view suggests that a wholesale shift away from encouraging all those who can to pursue a college degree will significantly affect their career longevity.
It is going to take more than finger pointing and misdirection to solve the workforce problems before us. We still have too many employers with technical jobs they cannot fill and too many unskilled job seekers without suitable employment.
Part of the problem in D.C., and nationwide, is the stigma that comes from not pursuing a traditional, college-oriented high school diploma. Our obsession with four-year colleges is certainly one of the reasons why disconnected youth see dropping out as their only other option.
Career and technical education deserves a place in any discussion of how schools can better support students with disabilities in high school. Students with disabilities face many challenges as they prepare to enter an increasingly competitive labor market.
I'd like to know what McCrory wanted to do when he was entering high school as a teenager. I agree with the General Assembly that the state needs to train workers for technical fields, but education -- in its foundation -- should not be viewed as a means to end of training laborers.
The least college ready students deserve the means to secure a bright and rewarding future for themselves just as much as the most college ready students do. We don't just build the bridges -- we ARE the bridge.
At this pace, we will fall well behind the competition -- and forfeit lucrative jobs in the process.
What does this mean? Americans run the risk of consigning another generation to low-skill, low-wage jobs -- and higher rates of poverty.